TravelNoise: The Talbot, Ripley, Surrey
Driving through the Beverly Hills of the UK, as Esher is known to the locals, there isn’t one gated driveway, tailored hedge or Range Rover I wouldn’t have wanted for myself, I’m such a city girl but occasionally sharing a lift to the underground with a group of people that have the average hygiene level of ‘disgusting’ does make you question your sanity, while simultaneously discreetly checking the pungent smell isn’t you.
…Back In Time
The Talbot Inn, Ripley has been a coaching inn for centuries, earning its place on the quaint and idealistic Ripley High Street. Looking at the building’s arched by time, the perfectly shabby brickwork and taking in the deafening country silence you wouldn’t believe the close proximity of Central London, Heathrow and Gatwick airport.
Checking in was swift and I was soon climbing the groaning, timeworn stairs to a double room at the front of the building. I’d dragged along (and by dragged I mean he wouldn’t have dared let me go without him) the boyfriend who, being at least 6’3’, spent most of his time crouching down, minding his head from the archaic black wooden beams and hobbit sized doorframes.
The beautiful bedroom was in keeping with the quixotic theme of the Surrey staycation. The fireplace, so preprocessing, made you beg for a cold winter night drinking hot chocolate. The bathroom was bigger than my London flat and the walk in wardrobe gave me more butterflies than a first kiss.
To foreigners of the Talbot, it’s a warren of a building and finding the smartly dressed dining room for dinner is an adventure in itself, the building oozes into a modern conservatory that fits the side of the Inn like a perfectly tailored suit and not a unisex school uniform from the supermarket.
…On To The Good Stuff
Being away from home got us feeling all venturesome so to start we went for the Fisherman’s Board (£15.25) so we could lose our oyster virginity. The salmon mousse was a clear winner, helping me to forget the taste of the oysters which, neither of us are willing to try again.
The mains of slow cooked belly pork (£18.50) and roast duck breast (£16) were so good they knocked out any reason or common sense, emanating wonderful meaty flavours. We cleared our plates, only the footprints of the tender duck and its five spice jus remained on the porcelain below me. We finished the evening in the garden with an Irish and French coffee, hoping that the caffeine would keep us awake, but, we eventually gave in and made our way back up to the room.
The weather was up to its usual tricks, it was as hot as it was stormy and the need to have the windows open all night so we didn’t melt, meant that the main road and thunder did disturb our sleep a little, but not enough to write home about, or put any sort of downer on our stay, maybe just request a room at the back if you’re coming.
…The Morning After
The food the night before had set a pretty high standard that the breakfast met, the full English gave us stars in our eyes, soaking up the alcohol from the night before and setting us up for the drizzly, threateningly wintery, day ahead.
The phrase ‘quality over quantity’ describes the Talbot and its ethos well. From the 43 stylish bedrooms, to the cheery staff that are so relaxed you wonder how they manage to run the operation so fluidly and so well. Each meal is comfortably modest, flavoursome in every bite, leaving you in a romantic, honeymoon haze rather than wanting to separate from your stomach and file for divorce.
What you need to know:
- Deluxe and classic bedrooms available.
- Pet friendly rooms so Spot, Fudge and Max can come along too.
- Perfect venue for tying the knot or hosting fancy events.
- Michelin Starred Head Chef.
- Bespoke Wine and Dine Break from £59pp, for two nights includes dinner, bed and breakfast.
- Free high-speed wi-fi in all rooms.
Address: High Street, Ripley, Woking, Surrey, GU23 6BB
Telephone Number: 01483 225188